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Cupid Wallet

You could be standing next to the love of your life and not knowing about it

This project was part of the week 9 project “Guerilla Interventions” at The Glasgow School of Art, November 2012

Joao Lourenco

Luca Marti

Zuzi Pešková

index Definition of problem.......................04 Interviews.....................................06 Final Video....................................10

The Cupid Wallet | 3

Briefing Focusing in social interactions and how people interact with the many urban services, what are the pleasureble parts and identify points of friction to create design oportunities.

The subway

To our group, it was assigned Glasgows SPT subway network.

4 | The Cupid Wallet

After the initial research, I have chosen some design oportunities to take on my personal path: Avoiding contact with others looked like a challenge, because I would have to force to contrary a natural behaviour in human nature, the seeking of privateness.

People looking everwhere but facing each other: reading books and the advertisements, playing in their phones, etc.

The Cupid Wallet | 5 There are many websites and columns in magazines dedicated to “I Saw You” adverts, specially about Glasgow. Reading them, it becomes a fact that most of these experiences take place on public transports. Sliding doors, movie

The paradox of the ‘seeking for privateness’ versus “seek for a mate” attracted me.

6 | The Cupid Wallet

Test 1 At the entrance of the subway station in Buchannan street, the stairs to access the platform are divided. For a fisrt-time user, the second he takes to make the decision or stop to wonder why, can make him/her to lose the train. I made the decision clear by giving the users two options: Bump into men or Bump into women, (and at the other end the same) in so to divid them by gender and force them to be more aware and set a seeking state, to cause looks and smile exchange.

Feedback: People started to ask me why I was placing the signs, and one guy came to me disappointed saying he haven’t bumped into any women. As everything under the eye of the cameras or security staff in a public station, the signs came off four minutes later.

The Cupid Wallet | 7

Test 2 How to force people to have eye contact and provoke some laughs to break the ice was my challenge in this test. I thought a natural way to create interest in the others would be to show whatever the person in front was thinking at it would create a laughing reaction if those thoughts were embarrassing, related to private life, and so I made some comic book styled thought bubbles to hang on the poles of the wagon.

Feedback: The passengers would get into the wagon, some would notice the bubbles and try to avoid sitting next to them, but as the wagon filled up they had no chance and they smiled and took the seat or just looked aloof from them. More comfortable people or not travelling alone would easily show a positive reaction and some would even take photos.

8 | The Cupid Wallet

Test 3 To force an interaction with a romantic intention in mind, I had to think on something stronger. It came to mind one card that I had seen, to hand freely to a person you would find attractive, to save from saying it.

A simple card would not be noticed as the wagons get littered easily with used tickets, newspapers and other trash. I had to think in an object that is hard to ignore: a wallet! I then filled it with a paper with instructions:

The facebook link would return to my profile and serve as a way of getting feedback since i would lose the wallets the moment I left them unnatended in the wagon.

The Cupid Wallet | 9

Feedback: Some people as always would ignore it, but others trying to be a good citizen would take the wallet and give it a quick look around to see if someone would ask to reclaim it.

As the deadline came to an end this was I far I could manage to go. I guess the wallets were returned to the subway staff since I had no answer, giving the project failure stamp. Even so I think this experiences could have some practical use in real life marketing campaigns.


Learning outcomes


- Testing prototypes in loco with real taudience and learn/change with the feedback

It was one of the most enjoyable projects thanks to the extremes of emotions we get out of it, from the fear of being caught byt the subway staff for putting up the prototypes in the wagons, from the joy of watching and seeing the passengers thanking us for our ideas break their routine.

- A better understanding on how the subway works in general (cleaning interventions, driver rotations, passenger pattern behaviours, refurbishment plans...)